Dan140

Running in - really needed?

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Hi all - said hi in the MK8 delivery thread earlier but have already had a question for you all! I’ve owned a large and weird collection of cars over the years (everything from a rickety Toyota Rav 4 to an BMW E46 M3), but my MK8, which is getting delivered on Friday, will be my first ever brand new car.

Now, whenever my dad would get a new car we’d always run it in gently for the first 1000 miles or so, and I’ve seen people in threads here “taking it easy” for the first x number of miles, but I’ve heard a few people recently saying this isn’t necessary on modern engines since they perform the running in process in the factory (presumably in order to stop idiots revving the nuts off it from mile 0 and making large warranty claims). I’ve even heard people say that engines that are pushed hard early on can live longer/perform better as well.

As a caveat this is a lease car that I will only have for 3 years, but while I’m not necessarily fussed about longevity I do have a degree of mechanical sympathy and like to treat my cars with the love and respect they deserve!

So: running in, necessary or not? Interested to hear your thoughts.

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Had to type this in a notes app and paste as there seems to be an annoying pop up/scam jumping in and saying "congratulations". First it was apparently Walmart. Then it tried convincing me it was YouTube. And finally it was fake Fox.

Regardless of whether a run in period is technically needed, most user manuals state that you should avoid full throttle starts for the first x miles. Usually 500-1000 region. This may be butt covering on the manufacturer's part, but as it says it, you should stick to it. Especially given Ford's rather poor attitude towards its customers. Any excuse to avoid a warranty claim, or claim using one's statutory rights and all that.

There are eels covered in grease and teflon that are easier to pin down than Ford. Nuns in 1950s convent schools that are more caring, and even Fagin would question their morals.

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My usual practice is just to drive normally, avoiding hard braking and cornering for 500 miles or so to let the tyres and brakes bed in. Similarly no full throttle, maximum revs acceleration but equally importantly not letting the engine labour, changing gears frequently and generally varying the load as much as possible. Then progressively build up with harder acceleration etc until you reach about 1500 miles when all should be ok. The owners manual in fact gives very similar advice.  I have found the 140 can nip along very smartly using no more than 4,000rpm so the above is no hardship.

I would always say err towards  working the engine rather than pussyfooting around, one of the worst used cars I bought was a low miles Cavalier from a colleague who it turned out had driven it at no more than 30 mph for the first 1,000 miles! It never seemed up to power, burned oil (as it had never bedded in properly) and developed loads of problems.

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For me I just have to take a new car gently increasing the revs per 100 miles covered upto 500-600, and then thrash it, but never with a cold engine.

I've heard engine assemble lines run engines in on forums, but when doing work at JLR I've yet to come across this process, must be time consuming if they do..

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Follow what it says in the manual about running in.

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I had a brand new Granada Scorpio 4x4 and I ran it in carefully for 5000 miles.   I did over 170,000 miles in it and it never used a drop of oil.

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I'd say run it in as it says from the user manual / ford dealer. If your doing low mileage and planning on keeping the car for a few years then there isn't really any benefits for yourself not properly running it in.

Really it's best to run it in correctly if you care about the second hand market and people who would be able to afford it on a budget in years to come due to depreciating. 

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Personally I'd break it in. Sure they run the engines in a bit when they build the car, but nothing too thorough as think about how much energy that would waste. At times were everywhere is cost cutting as much as possible, I doubt thry will want to do a process the end user can do.

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It is said that the treatment given to hire cars get is good for them.

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a work mate just bought a brand new 18 plate BMW he said they run it in for 1000 miles at the factory then reset the clock to 0 like above saves the idiots making big claims after the engine blows up from the dealer ship.

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in 2007 I bought a 1.6tdci fiesta with 1,600 miles on . It was a hire car before I bought it. I did 146k miles in it, my brother now has it and it has 160k on it.  Never needs any oil adding between changes.  Never had any problems until last week when EGR valve is playing up. It won't have been run in properly as a hire car but it does not seem to have adversely affected it.

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7 hours ago, AlexBartlam said:

a work mate just bought a brand new 18 plate BMW he said they run it in for 1000 miles at the factory then reset the clock to 0 like above saves the idiots making big claims after the engine blows up from the dealer ship.

How many cars do BMW make a day?, how fast do they run the car to break it in? eg 100mph would mean it's on a rolling road for 10 hours, so 1 rolling road can only do 2 cars a day, how many rolling roads do BMW have?

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2 hours ago, MarksST said:

How many cars do BMW make a day?, how fast do they run the car to break it in? eg 100mph would mean it's on a rolling road for 10 hours, so 1 rolling road can only do 2 cars a day, how many rolling roads do BMW have?

Not to mention the fuel cost. Say it did 40mpg at 100mph, it would need over £100 worth of fuel to put 1000 miles on it. Even if it cost £10,000 for them to put a new engine in, 1 in every 100 BMW cars would be needing a new engine to make that 1000 mile rolling road test worth the cost. That's not taking into account equipment costs, staff wages, additional building space required etc.

I could maybe understand Rolls Royce doing such a thing as they go through so many quality analysis checks, but not a manufacturer turning out thousands of cars a day.

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Thanks for all the replies, definitely an interesting discussion. Had the car a couple of weeks now and haven't been wringing it's neck but have slowly been increasing the revs as I creep up to 500 miles. Doing a long drive up to Sheffield and back this weekend so once that is out the way I'm going to consider the running period done and will be happily bouncing off the rev limiter forever more. :biggrin:

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Make sure you keep varying the revs you sit at on a long drive.  At least that’s how we used to do it in the old days. And of course make sure it’s warmed up before applying load and has time to cool down before switching off. 

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2 hours ago, ThaiFiesta said:

Make sure you keep varying the revs you sit at on a long drive.  At least that’s how we used to do it in the old days. And of course make sure it’s warmed up before applying load and has time to cool down before switching off. 

Yep been trying to do that. One thing that I was wondering is how healthy it is to have the stop/start mode engaged? I've always allowed my cars a few mins to cool down properly before turning them off and I understand that it's even more critical with turbocharged motors...so doesn't seem massively sensible to have the engine switch straight off every time you come to a stop. Thoughts?

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I've found that after a long fast motorway drive, with stop start switched on, it doesn't stop the engine immediately.   It stops after a couple of minutes though so, obviously, allows the engine and turbo to cool down first. 

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1 hour ago, Dan140 said:

Yep been trying to do that. One thing that I was wondering is how healthy it is to have the stop/start mode engaged? I've always allowed my cars a few mins to cool down properly before turning them off and I understand that it's even more critical with turbocharged motors...so doesn't seem massively sensible to have the engine switch straight off every time you come to a stop. Thoughts?

As Bobr says, it's unlikely to harm your car if it's operating correctly.

I'm not a big fan of these systems myself, and usually disable it on start up. There are some points in the areas I drive where I know from experience a long wait is likely (eg level crossings, complex sets of lights etc) where I'll switch it back on just before I get there. This is a bit awkward in the Mk 8 as the button is hiding behind the handbrake, unlike my last car where it was right under the infotainment screen.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dan140 said:

Yep been trying to do that. One thing that I was wondering is how healthy it is to have the stop/start mode engaged? I've always allowed my cars a few mins to cool down properly before turning them off and I understand that it's even more critical with turbocharged motors...so doesn't seem massively sensible to have the engine switch straight off every time you come to a stop. Thoughts?

For the turbo it's not about cooling it down (sat idling not going to cool it anyway) it about letting it slow down so when you turn the car off its not spinning without out oil flowing past the bearings, turning it off while its at max speed wouldn't be ideal, not being on boost or idling for a few seconds before turning off would be fine.

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auto start-stop won't operate if engine rpm is above tick-over I assume to prevent damage to the engine. personally I just let it do its thing. it's saving you money and saving the environment. if it doesn't activate it's for a reason. the system is clever enough to prevent engine damage. I'm yet to hear of a case where automatic engine idle shutdown has caused damage.

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I thought I’d read that stop- start didn’t function until after the run in period specified in the manual. 

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3 hours ago, ThaiFiesta said:

I thought I’d read that stop- start didn’t function until after the run in period specified in the manual. 

Start stop has been working since day 1 (7 miles) for my Fiesta

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